LOYOLA Meralco tries to bring its success against Global FC outside the United Football League into the a game pitting the two UFL heavyweights collide on Saturday night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
The Sparks, who blanked Global, 2-0, in the finale of the Smart Club Championship to rule the national tournament last January, seek to duplicate that feat against the defending champions in their first meeting in the league this season.
Kickoff is at 8:15 p.m., in an anticipated match that headlines a triple-header that will also have league-leading Kaya FC taking on Pachanga Diliman at 5:15 p.m. after bottom-half squads Manila Jeepney and Philippine Army face off at 2:15 p.m.
“You want to beat the best teams in the league and the country, and if you do that, that makes you the best team,” said Phil Younghusband, who saw limited action against Global in the national tilt after the Sparks’ strike star suffered an early injury.
“It’s a chance for us to make a big statement and show this could definitely be our year,” older brother James Younghusband said.
The Sparks, who have 15 points to show after six outings and running second behind Kaya just on goal difference, seek to pounce on a weary Global side that’s on a two-match skid,
Global, in fourth spot with 13 points, lost to the league-leaders, 2-0, two Saturdays ago, before bowing to Yadanarbon of Malaysia with the same scoreline last Thursday in the Asian Football Confederation Cup in the foe’s turf.
“They were the benchmark last season…but I think they’ll be as worried about us as we are of them,” Sparks coach Simon McMenemy said.
Kaya looks to keep the leadership as it faces seventh-running Pachanga, while the cellar-dwelling Troopers hope to barge into the point column against eighth-running Jeepney.